[media-credit id=146 align="alignleft" width="290"][/media-credit]Varsity Girls’ head basketball coach of seven years and retired history teacher Scott Stein was born on Nov. 18 in Hays, KS. He grew up on a small farm Northwest of Hays with his two older brothers. After daily chores Stein and his brothers spent their time inventing their own versions of sports games using whatever was accessible at the time.
“I remember when we would tack a half bushel basket onto the door of our garage and bounce a softball around. That was our version of basketball,” said Scott.
Stein loved all sports as a kid but what he really wanted to be was a professional baseball player. At Plainville High School, there was not a baseball team so Stein tried out for basketball and loved it. He spent his weekends in town and at dances with friends, while he spend weekdays focusing on schoolwork and basketball.
Stein always had it in his mind that he did not want to be a farmer, but it was his father who really pushed him to go to college.
“My dad would always say to me, ‘You do not want to [farm] all of your life. Get an education,’” said Stein.
Stein found that helping others was a passion of his freshman year at Fort Hays State University. Once he realized this, he decided he wanted to be a coach. Dene Smith of North Carolina and Bob Knight of Indiana were his inspiration for coaching.
Throughout Steins college years, there were often war protests. Stein did not participate in the protests or other disregard of authority. He went to school and worked over forty hours a week. The most rewarding part of college for Stein was the opportunity to get a degree and get away from farm life.
Stein graduated college in 1971. Although he knew he wanted to teach or coach, Stein spent his first years out of college working as a Crayola Crayon maker and working as a district sales rep for R.J. Reynolds.
“The jobs paid well,” said Stein, “but I wasn’t really happy with my life at the time. I wanted to do something I love.”
Opportunity rolled around in 1979 when Stein earned his master’s degree at Fort Hays and got offered a job as an assistant coach at St. John’s junior college.
Since then Stein has coached at dozens of schools (this is his 39th year teaching) and taught history at several. Although he retired from teaching seven years ago Stein decided he could not give up coaching so he became a boys varsity assistant coach at East. When the opportunity to coach girls varsity basketball arose Stein took advantage of it because he did not like the idea of being below other coaches.
“Ironically, when I first began coaching I wanted to coach college boy’s basketball but I have found my experience with these girls to be greater than I could have imagined,” said Stein. “They are just as hardworking and motivated as the boys are and they are a pleasure to coach.”